It is safe to say that csections are not natural birth. They’re surgical births. And I’ve never heard anyone argue to the contrary.
However the definition of what is natural birth can cause some pretty stirring debate.
Some will argue that vaginal birth no matter what is natural birth. Even if it is induced, medicated and riddled with intervention.
Some would argue that only true unhindered birth without any intervention is natural childbirth and that natural childbirth can never be achieved in hospital because it’s an unnatural setting to birth in.
I’m somewhere in the middle.
To start I believe that a birth does not have to be natural to be empowering. Even csections can be positive and as long as the mother has a chance to make an informed choice then she should be proud of her labour and birth.
I do not believe that birth that is medicated is natural childbirth the same way I don’t believe that taking paracetamol to relieve a headache is natural.
I do not believe that birth using forceps or vacuum is natural childbirth. You may have labored naturally but an instrumental delivery is an assisted delivery. Same as walking the last 100m of a running race doesn’t equate to running the whole way. It’s still a huge effort that you should be extremely proud of, finishing is finishing and birthing unmedicated is birthing unmediated but forceps and vacuums are not natural.
I believe a natural birth means without unwanted intervention. I know some women get offended if you say their birth wasn’t natural because of xyz. That’s not my intention. I believe all women should feel empowered by the births of their children. But I don’t believe vaginal birth automatically means natural birth.
That being said I do believe a natural birth is possible in hospital but I do believe it’s difficult to achieve.
If you want a natural birth you are more likely to get it at home, and if you’re in Australia the Joyous Birth is the perfect Homebirth community for you.
BellyBelly has a great article on planning a natural birth.